Volkswagen claims a 4.9sec 0-62mph time – 0.3sec slower than the Golf R but 0.3sec quicker than the Cupra Ateca – and an electronically governed top speed of 155mph.
Despite a close hardware relationship with the Ateca and the Audi SQ2, settings are unique for each car. Although it sits higher than the Golf, the T-Roc R is 20mm closer to the ground than the standard T-Roc, thanks to lower suspension and firmer settings. Passive dampers are standard, but Volkswagen’s Dynamic Chassis Control system can be specified for £695.
The T-Roc R gets 19in alloy wheels and the beefy 17in brakes from the Golf R Performance as standard.
Other visual changes include chunkier bumpers, an anodised finish for the front grille, matt chrome mirror caps and R badges. The interior gets some carbonfibre trim and a sportier steering wheel, plus the option of the Golf R’s sport seats.
Q&A with Jost Capito, R division boss
What are the fundamentals of the R brand?
“It is all-wheel drive, it is sporty and – after discussions with customers in a lot of countries – we know they want to see cars around 300 horsepower. People say why not go higher, but we need to hit a certain price, a sweet spot: we sell more than 20,000 Golf Rs a year.”
How do you stop confusion with GTI models?
“Firstly, they have two-wheel drive, but also they are more extreme. The R models have to be less racy, but with the same capability or even more. They always have more horsepower but are more about everyday usage. A TCR or Clubsport is much more aggressive. The GTI is in Up, Polo and Golf – and we are saying that R is starting with Golf.”